Category Archives: Admin

Stats up the WaZOO

I can’t keep pace with many of the new bloggers I’ve discovered this year, but even though I don’t match their prodigious daily output, I’m certainly happy to have them in my feed. Such a fab variety of creative writings and so many diverse POVs! Love that. Lots of these peeps talk about their stats and I don’t pay much attention to mine, except to occasionally whine that no one has bought any of my books lately so why do I even bother yada then I get over it.

This morning I decided to check my actual bloggeroo stats and I took screenshots so I could share. I figured hey now what would my blogfans like to do on a nice weekend… beach, BBQ, hike, bike, garden… ? Nahhh. They’ll wanna peruse my stats.

First, not counting this poast, I have a grand total of 519 poasted poasts since I began this blog on March 25, 2011 with a cupcake. I have deleted a lot of poasts, mostly complaints about dating sites/men because I thought, ha ha, I might meet a new man, and I wouldn’t want him to see all that bitching, since of course he’d read my blog cover to cover yet wouldn’t know a thing about the Wayback Machine: Dating Logic 🙄. Thank gawd that’s over. There are months of little to no activity when I was busy moving or getting divorced. I also used to spend much of my free social media time on Facebook, but I quit there this March because #facebooksucks. Since then, I’ve been blogging much more, yayyy.

Second, I have 1,045 total comments, as follows.

Many bloggers have a higher hit ratio of likes, but I am pleased with this.

My most commented-on poast, by far, remains The Duke vs. the Secretary (which is also my most-viewed poast, natch), from way back in June 2011.

Third, commenters. This, my friends, is where things may get a little bit hairy. Are you ready for some drama? Buckle up! Year after year, when I poast the stats WordPress gives me on their Happy New Year’s card, Roy wins top commenter. It’s just the Way Things Are. But right now, in the doldrums of August, lil Miss PJ has snuck up on Roy and edged him out of the top spot! ZOMG!

(By “top” I mean second, obviously. I’m always Numero Uno.)

Don’t panic, Roy! There’s still enough time before the end of the year for you to regain your title. Hell, it’s anyone’s game really. Just comment your hearts 💕 out, folks! It’s not too late!

Btw, I think it’s only fair to mention that Stan was my very first commenter, back on the cupcake poast we discussed several paras ago. You’re all still with me, right? Good. There may be a quiz after.

Finally, I will finish up with the observation that my topics of noodling, fun, and whatever have the most views, which are basically the topics about nothing. Give the people what they want, I always say.

Actually I never say that. I simply enjoy going on and on and on about absolutely nothing. And I would keep doing it even sans validation. But validation is a lovely thing. See? Kbai. More later!

PS: Forgot to mention that I’m following 510 blogs (this constantly increases), and have 333 WordPress followers. I have other followers not on WP ~ email, twitter, and just regular peeps. Love you all, mwah! Kbai for reals.

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Regarding the Discover Option [rant]

The “Discover” new blogs button isn’t unique to the WordPress app, of course ~ we can access it from our WP browser menu as well. I’ve clicked on it a few times over the years. And every time I exit in disgust a minute later. Why? I’ll tell you why!

Those blogs featured under Discover don’t need to be discovered cuz they’re already discovered AF. They have 500-700 likes already on the poasts we’re supposed to believe are new and interesting. Hey, let’s all discover The New York Times! Whoa. Bet we never thought of reading Newsweek or CNN. Hey, how about that obscure People magazine… bet they need some readers.

Feh. I would like to discover more blogs that have small readerships (like ahem mine) in order to help them grow. Talking about fun, interesting personal blogs for the most part, not those other kind. This is a major reason why I enjoy the games and prompts ~ they help me find new blogs to follow.

Big shout-out to the bloggers who have taken the time to start and maintain the prompts: Fandango, the WOTD group, Flash Fiction, et al. I plan to participate even more in these and other prompts because (1) they’re fun, (2) it’s cool to see the creative ideas others come up with, and (3) they provide a good avenue to find new blogs.

But I won’t be clicking on WP Discover again!

Ch-ch-changes

I just downloaded the WordPress app and so far it seems fabulous! They’ve really improved it since I tried it a zillion years ago. It takes a lot of motivation for me to deviate from my habits, so this is a big deal, blogging from an app. Truth be told, I’m a bit resistant to apps in general, misliking the idea of cluttering up my phone with icons. Why can’t I just use my browser? But this WP app is very nice. Very nice indeed. Of course, now I’ll need to d/l more apps to even out the row, but never mind that.

My motivation is partly due to the fact that blogging from a phone browser is rather clunky, and while I have a semi-solution in my old Kindle Fire, it’s still imperfect. (Hard to access media from there.) Also, I like using one device. I already have a sweet Kindle for reading and the Fire is pure backup, which I like to keep at home.

Isn’t this fascinating? I thought my fans would be enthralled with an OCD data dump.

I’m feeling good about all the things I’ve abandoned along the path toward enlightenment, or death, whichever comes first ~ husbands, real estate, dating sites, Facebook, fiction writing, and thigh highs. Thank gawd I never have to wear stupid thigh highs again! What a dumb invention.

Oh, and sushi. Blech!

Regarding Writer’s Block

Jenga

Dusty commented about WB in my last poast. It’s true that I can’t seem to sit down and force myself to write the things I believe I “should” write, such as the next short story in my epic collection of long connected stories, or even finish one of Anna’s hot romances I’ve left in limbo. But that doesn’t mean I can’t write anything ~ in fact, I’ve been blogging a ton (have actually deleted several ridiculously verbose and pointlessly rambling poasts in the last several weeks before I hit publish), emailing a bunch, and tweeting a twitload. I have even poemed a bit. It’s just the fiction I’m not into any longer and thus have given it up.*

Fiction writing feels like regression. Maybe that’s a lazy copout, but it’s how I feel right now. Writing fiction was an escape from bad times in my life, and my life is no longer bad. I don’t need an escape into a fantasy world of make-believe characters I focus on instead of my own situation. Unlike poetry, which stimulates my love for language, wordplay, and brief, intense emotional exploration, writing fiction feels hollow and fake. (This doesn’t apply to fiction reading at all, which I still love. Or movies dur!)

Writing about real events, however ~ slightly enhanced for entertainment value ~ such as the “dating stories,” is still a lot of fun for me. I was going to write about my trip to the wilds of Los Angeles last Tuesday, the crazy Bentley who tailgated me (a freaking Bentley!), the trippy sidewalks, my adorable granddaughter (I’m a grandmother now, if you didn’t know), etc., but there wasn’t any outstandingly funny moment to regale y’all with, and I’m all about the regaling.

[Just had to delete some amusing nonsense about regal and regaling because the words aren’t related. Dictionaries are our friends! But eccentric comes from outside the circle of normal, which was the WOTD yesterday, and since I can’t sleep in this heat even with a Valium and it’s now tomorrow, that word is definitely appropriate.]

Now, at this point you may be wondering if this poast isn’t one of those ridic rambles that should go into the trash heap… no! First, this is an experiment to see if it’s easier to blog from my old Kindle, since it’s larger than my phone and has a more finger-friendly keyboard. Second, it allows open tabs to be visible at the top, like a puter, which is helpful for switching back and forth when looking stuff up while blogging. Third, it’s difficult to create links when blogging by phone (have not tried the WordPress app) ~ basically have to write them down on a piece of paper and type them in again like a cavewoman. But on my Kindle I can copy and paste like a normal person. However, there is one issue: my bitmojis! I only have access to media already uploaded to WP, no new bitmojis or photos on my phone, since this thing isn’t connected to my phone. Of course, I could save this as a draft and then reopen it on my phone, where all my pics are. But that is not exactly an efficient, streamlined operation, is it now?

I put the previously used Jenga blocks up top, meh. Other solutions were: (1) use a previous bitmoji that didn’t really go with this poast; (2) use an ugly stock WP photo of blocks; or (3) begin some complicated process of installing an app on my phone that will give my Kindle access to photos, but it is 3am and I don’t wannu.

There is a rumor going around I might be getting a Mac, which will render all this angsting obsolete, but in the meantime… the blog abides.

*One of my friends said he learned in a yoga class recently that stress damages the brain and is potentially one of the leading causes of dementia. So, this just proves I’m on the right track giving up stressful things like dating, Facebook, fiction writing, etc. If only I could give up driving, that would be AWESOME!

Oh, now I have to stick on all the tags that will allegedly attract zillions of readers to this poast. Bwahahaha!

Misty Memories

Butterfly

It’s fitting on this last day of the Daily Prompt, which is retrospective, that I take a look back through the mists of time to the beginning of my blogging experience.

I started on a whim in September 2003 with Ultrablog, since my fellow writers from Usenet seemed to be jumping in. The name came about because my Usenet handle was Ultraviolet and I tried to stick with a purple motif, though the details changed. I had butterflies and various templates on blogger, and then I bought my domain ~ and I even purchased an artsy template once when I had loads of hits per day. I never monetized any of my blogs however. Too much work.

My Ultrablog topics ran the gamut. Opining on funny pieces of news, poasting about aminals, sharing family events & pics, mocking things I found online, offering up Sunday word games for fans, etc. I jabbered fairly frequently about writing and my writing progress, or the lack thereof. I was fairly open in calling out people who could have recognized themselves in my takedowns, but mostly I sailed through okay.

But I got into a flamewar over pitb*lls, which became insane, and I wanted to delete those poasts and some comment threads. I ended up ruining my comment numbering system and couldn’t get it right again. This drove me bananas. I decided it was time to archive Ultrablog and start a new, lighter blog with no flaming.

Thus was born Cats, Cupcakes & Shooze, the most boring blog in Blogville. It didn’t last long, maybe a year, and I didn’t even bother archiving it. Around the same time, my mom was dying, so I began a private blog to record my thoughts and feelings about the situation, and to get support from close friends. I still have that blog archived.

For around a year or so, I was blogless. IKR? But I was in a relationship I couldn’t talk about, going thru a divorce, still upset about my mom, etc., and it seemed pointless to start another blog when I’d have to self-censor about so many topics. I was very careful on all the other social media too. But ultimately I missed blogging too much and revved up this WordPress account and my domain name.

At first, I poasted only poetry, song lyrics, book reviews, cupcakes pics, etc. But then in the summer of 2011 my divorce became final, and a few months later my unspeakable romantic relationship crashed. After that, I felt freer to poast as I pleased, with very few limits. That said, I frequently delete poasts I don’t like having around, but that’s my own choice. Only once I deleted a few poasts upon request.

People gravitate to personal stories ~ I know I do. That’s how we connect with strangers on the internet, by glimpses into each other’s lives, shared interests, mutual points of caring. I don’t want to read some blogger’s opinion on the news headlines. Boring! I said this all the time on Facebook ~ why are you peeps regurgitating CNN at me? I know how to read the news. I’d rather hear about a fun new restaurant you found or something cute your dog did, or even that you stubbed your toe, so I can offer sympathy.

I always tell myself to poast more about writing and read serious writers, but I enjoy so many things that I keep adding “non-writer” bloggers to my feed anyway. I add bloggers who mostly poast photos of flowers. I love flowers! And kitties! And sunsets. And doggies scampering on beaches. And travel stories even though I don’t travel. And philosophy. And movie reviews. And comedy! There are so many wonderful things to love in this world. But if you poast dark sad twisted poetry, I’ll probably love that too.

Fifteen years of blogging, more or less. Wow.

I think we’re up to date.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Retrospective

A Glimmer Is Not Enough

File_001 (8)

I’ve been doing more deleting, my peeps. Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram were the big ones, but that was just the beginning of my webhousecleaning.

Actually, that’s not true. I began this back when I dumped all the dating sites for good in 2017. And I’ll tell you something: I do not miss them one bit, nor do I miss dating. It’s the most stressful thing in the world, not fun at all, and I’m sleeping so much better since I quit. Turns out, I do not have insomnia! I had dating-related anxiety. I sleep through the night just fine almost every night now just like back in the old days before I began any of it. Anyway, last month was FB & Co.’s turn to get the heave-ho. But what about the other sites?

I had a Meetup account since 2011 and over the years joined various groups ~ Scrabble, writing, walking, board games, etc.  But my favorite writing group never meets at a time that’s convenient for me now. New groups that sound interesting are always too far away or some other annoying thing. The rest of the groups are too sportsy or too young or too costly or too dating-related or whatever. Every week or so I look in with the glimmer of hope there will be something fun and nopety nope nope. Waste of time. Isn’t my new motto to quit wasting time on things that aren’t productive, healthy, or fun? Yes, I believe it is. A glimmer is not enough to justify time wastery. Meetup account DELETED.

Deleted some Yahoo groups for the same reason and quit getting email notifs from a few otter ones. Why spend time reading things that are of no value? That’s time wastery. For some of that stuff, there isn’t even a glimmer of a chance anything interesting is going to come of it. It’s barely one step above actual SPAM. People I don’t know jabbering about things I don’t care about. WTF am I reading this? Habit, a bad one.

And then I figured that it’s just Not Good to have random idle accounts sitting around “out there” due to nasty hackers, evil Russians, alien pods, and whatnot. So I went on a spree, whacking accounts like DISQUS, Quora, Ello, and various otter sillinesses that I don’t even use or waste time on but don’t need to have my name associated with either. Paranoia, it’s what’s for dinner. You guys forgot about Ello, dincha? 🙂

I’m debating Goodreads. On the one hand, it hardly takes up any time, so it doesn’t count as a waste of same. On the otter hand, I find it vaguely irritating. First it doesn’t let me delete my own books. I have unpublished a few (couple short stories I decided I don’t want as stand-alones, wish to edit them, and then have them as part of my book of longer, connected short stories I hope to have out by the end of this year). So, if you click on the links, they don’t exist. Of course this drives me bonkers. Why can’t I delete them from my bio there? That’s one thing. Second, GR makes me feel compelled to finish a book even when it’s bad so I can have that book added to my book count. Okay, that’s not Goodreads’ fault; that’s my OCD again. Regardless, that’s how it is and being on the site creates this issue. But perhaps this isn’t a bad thing? At least once recently I ended up enjoying a book I wouldn’t have finished otterwise. So, hmm.

Guess I’ll leave GR for meow, but they’re on the watchlist. I’m sure they’re terrified.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Glimmer

Wherein I Nag Peeps to Blog

I’ve been on social media a looooong time. Found my niche, so to speak, early on with a pack of feral writers on Usenet, and we’ve been hanging around together on the various media as they wax and wane in popularity. We tried Twitter, but the 140 character limit was too stifling. Most of us have Twitter accounts, but it’s not our preferred way to communicate, since we like to talk… well, argue mostly, and we do go on and on and on. Many of us jumped into the blogging craze, but for whatever reason most dropped out of that, which I don’t understand. You would think that writers and blogs would go together like macaroni and cheeeese! Have I mentioned lately that not only do I love blogging, but I highly recommend it? I really do, from the bottom of my ice-cold heart. Then there were a bunch of rando express trains we hopped on as they arrived at the communication station over the years, but it turned out they all had the same destination: Boringville.

Except Facebook. We’ve all been on FB forever it seems. I closed my account in 2010, but ultimately returned with a new one within a year. I missed my peeps, and you know when friends say they’ll stay in touch via email and such they may have the best intentions, but… it simply does not happen. People are too busy for emailing, too busy for phone calls (plus many of us do not like phone calls ~ I am one), and you just lose touch. It’s not the same to see a few pics on Instagram or a tweet here and there. Facebook is how so many of us learn what’s going on with friends and family, unless you actually see people in meatspace or have a regular texting relationship. I have those, but not with hundreds of FB friends, just a few close ones, and my daughters of course.

But the Book of Face is all screwed up now with the latest data selling horror story. Will it survive? Who knows. It seems “too big to fail,” but that doesn’t mean it won’t. People are making noises about leaving, but we hear this every time something bad is in the news about breaches of privacy and whatnot. Yes, it feels different this time, worse, but even so. Hard to imagine a world without Facebook. But just because it’s hard to imagine doesn’t mean it can’t happen. We could all wake up one day to find a message saying the whole thing is down. OMG! And that could continue, day after day. What would people do? Watch TV, read books, ride bikes? The possibilities are literally endless.

Here’s one thing they could do, and in fact they could do it now, as insurance: BLOG! No, I am not getting paid to promote blogging, though I should be (pay me, WordPress); I just think it’s a Good Thing. Set up a blog, easy peasy, and start writing. If you don’t know what to write about, no worries, you can poast photos and memes and links to news stories in the headlines that everyone else sees same as you, like you do every day on Facebook (eyeroll), until you feel inspired to write an essay. But you might think about adding some original writing to your photo/meme/link. Hey what? Write a sentence or two about what YOU are thinking or feeling when you poast the link to that news story. Give your opinion. After a while, you won’t need a link and you can simply write an op-ed yourself. Like what I’m doing here. You won’t need links to validate your thoughts. Just jabber on and on and on like a Real Writer, wheeeeee!

After you blog, visit other blogs, like poasts, and comment. Follow. Then you’ll receive likes, comments, and follows. Soon there will be familiar avatars, topics, and interesting discussions. If you get a troll or someone otherwise unpleasant, block. Or engage, if that’s your preference.

If you already have a blog, then why aren’t you blogging? Hmmmm? Because you’re spending all day on FB, amirite? Best get to reviving that blog before FB goes poof. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

If not now, when? Get a free blog before they’re all gone. Hurry!

And FFS, don’t forget the most important thing: follow me so my count goes up. 🙂

IMG_0146

Glittertrails

glittertrail

I’m glad I’m not famous, or every st00pid thing I’ve written would be immortalized forever. Remember when we used to shoot the shit with friends and those convos would drift off into the aether, lost with our hangovers? If there was any brilliant philosophical insight or poetic piece of pretty, they’d be gone too, poof. But now we tweet and fb our every stray strand of emotion, and hopefully no one screencaps it since we’re nobodies. I myself have deleted more things than I’ve poasted. Yes, while you’re all sleeping, I walk the cyberbeaches in the moonlight and erase my footprints. Well, I used to do a lot more of that; now I do it only sporadically.

While I was poking around the otter day, searching for lost writings, I found this piece of poast* which I really like, even out of context, and will share it with my loyal blogfans.

Laurel Canyon. The summer of nineteen seventy-nine. I am my own gaslighter. I drive too fast on these curvy roads, but I am made of silk and butter, and I slide around danger like an egg on a sizzling skillet, close to the edge, but always slipping back to the center before anything terrible happens. Something would happen soon. I run through the scenarios in my mind every time I leave the house. There are times I believe the bad thing has already occurred and I scour old newspapers for the story. I have to go to the library to find the papers because someone won’t let me see the mail. People creep around the house and hide things from me. Who are they?

I’ve poasted about gaslighting a few times now, and every time I do I end up deleting the poast because it’s too personal and I’m uncomfortable with it sitting out there for anyone to read. Even though this blog doesn’t get much traffic, it is public after all. Theoretically, anyone in the world could stop by. I don’t feel like changing permissions when I get all emotionally vomitatious; I’ve done it in the past and it’s too cumbersome. In any case, I’m not some wannabe counselor or a Linky Laura going for adrev ~ either my poasts are about me or there’s no point.

Well, actually my long game is to accumulate a giant number of blog readers that I can eventually show to a publisher and say SEE I HAZ POTENTIAL BOOK BUYERS! But er for that I would actually need to write a book. Gah, details. Always details!

I had a cold for a week, which wouldn’t be a big deal, except it triggered a cascade of violent migraines and I’ve been very dizzy and nauseated. Still not 100% “normal” yet. I missed a few days of work, and I haven’t been able to write much or do needlework at home. I just zone out in front of the TV every night. But finding that gaslighting snip has motivated me. This weekend I’ll be getting back to my pomes. These are cathartic, a purge of years of old moldy boxes from the attic, and I caution everyone not to buy the poetry book when I plop it onto Amazon because the pomes are simply dreadful. Post-ploppage, I shall return to my Real Writing.

*phrase stolen from the Great & Powerful Lizard

Housekeeping Notes

A friend said that he had put new blog entries up recently, but I hadn’t seen them in my WordPress feed. I went back to look and this list happened.

  1. I found new blog poasts by other favorite bloggers that I had missed even though I go through my feed daily. Apparently what happens is that poasts are not always appearing as they are timestamped. You can’t assume that just because you read your feed new entries won’t pop in earlier in the line later. This is really annoying!
  2. But what you can do instead of reading your feed the usual way is click to the “manage” tab and sort your bloggers alphabetically. Then under each one it will say the last time they updated, which will give you a clue whether you read that entry or not (unless a blogger updates multiple times daily, eek). If there is no update statement, it’s fair to assume that someone hasn’t blogged in a while and you’re OK. This is sort of like the days of olde when we had the whozit list on the side.
  3. Of course you might not care enough to do that, in which case ignore item 2 above.
  4. If you are considering the switch to the “Managed Tab Feed Read” (MTFR), another positive benefit is that your feed won’t be cluttered with pictures and suggestions, so you get a nice, neat list of blogs instead of a huge pile of crapadoo.
  5. Blogs that are still on Blogger have a different kind of feed source and back in the day I C&P’d that into my WP reader. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t. I don’t know why! Apparently the friend whose poasts I was looking for (remember him? this is a song about him) was one of those bloggers and his poasts were not feeding right. That’s the best I can do for a hi-tech explanation here. (Need lizard halps.) Anyway, none of that matters now because WP has learned that most of us are idiots and has figured out how to grab the feed code itself. So, I searched for friend’s blog in the WP feed searchy bar; WP found it and added it, viola. I didn’t have to go poking around for XML or whatever the eff.
  6. I caught up with friend’s poasts and all is good.
  7. MY DAUGHTER IS GETTING MARRIED IN TWO MONTHS OMG OMG OMG.
  8. I highly recommend using the MTFR instead of the normal WP feed so as not to miss any bloggity goodness, especially if you have a lot of blogs in your feed (I have 279 at the mo). I needed to add this item because (a) I like to have 8 things, and (b) I had already defined MTFR and once you do that you have to use it.

That’s all.

Another Reach into the Archives

Bouquet. [50-word drabble]

She ran, laughing, plucking flowers at random until her arms overflowed. This one, she cried! And this one and this. Each time she had found the most glorious blossom ever, another flower even more vibrant beckoned. Soon, reaching for the next would mean dropping them all. I watched, and waited.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Reach